Hawick and Gala meet in an intriguing Border derby in the Scottish Cup first round this lunchtime.
The Maroons make the trip to Mansfield Park sitting seventh in Tennent’s National League Division One, while the hosts are in ninth in the Tennent’s Premiership.
Hawick come into the round one tie off the back of a disappointing 26-12 loss to Boroughmuir eight days ago, while Gala were winning 27-14 at Hamilton
However, these types of meetings between old rivals often have to be looked at in isolation and certainly nobody will be taking a backwards step.
Bruce McNeil returns at No 8 for Hawick while tighthead prop Nicky Little is also back, meaning director of rugby Garry Douglas can stand down from playing duties. Hawick head coach George Graham, who used to coach Gala, said: “It is a local derby so anything goes. Gala have had a mixed season, but we will need to ensure we are on our A game to get a result. I am looking for a much improved performance from last week when frankly we didn’t turn up.”
In the only all-top flight clash today Heriot’s host Edinburgh Accies at Goldenacre.
For the home side, Rory McMichael, Stuart Edwards, Cameron Lineen and Charlie Jupp return to the starting XV.
Exciting prospects Scott King and Michael Hughes join the squad with Scott starting and Michael joining his brother Martin on the bench. Mark Sinclair comes in at scrum-half for Accies.
Marr have been going well in National One and are at Myreside to take on Watsonians, who themselves have hit a good run of form. Finn Hobbis, Fraser Renwick and Duncan Ferguson form a new look front row for the home side in this one.
Currie Chieftains are on the road to GHA. For the Braidholm encounter, the visitors have Scott McGinley coming into the back-row while, with Jamie Forbes moving to stand-off, James McCaig is at full-back.
Ayr progress to round two as Dundee HSFP have forfeited the first round tie, stating that 14 senior squad members are unavailable.